NHS graduate trainee achieves highest mark ever in global accountancy exam

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NHS still attracting world-class trainees despite challenging public sector job market.

A trainee on the NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme recently received a commendation for achieving a perfect score – the highest ever – in a professional exam taken by more than 5,300 people world-wide.

Christine Oakley, 24, who joined the Scheme, which is run by the NHS Leadership Academy, in 2010, is on the finance specialism programme. As part of her training, she recently undertook the CIMA P2 Performance Management accountancy examination. Not only did Christine pass the exam with flying colours just like the others she has taken as part of her training, she achieved a score of 100 per cent in what is commonly described as one of the most difficult exams in accounting education.

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountant – the organisation that runs the professional course – has revealed that Christine is the first student ever to have achieved 100 per cent in this particular paper.

The exam focused on complex accountancy topics such cost planning and analysis, and budgeting and management control.

The NHS Leadership Academy’s Graduate Management Training Scheme is a comprehensive training programme that aims to equip graduates with the expertise needed to become successful leaders in the NHS. Challenging work placements and educational components enable the graduates to learn about the NHS and develop the confidence required to lead the ongoing transformation of NHS service.

Christine, from Liverpool, has taken up various finance–related placements in the NHS as part of her training. Her first role was as Technical Accountant at Aintree University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, in Liverpool, and then a Management Accountant at the same trust. She is currently on her third ‘flexi’ placement as assistant to the Business Performance Manager at Countess of Chester Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, in Chester.

Christine said: “Achieving 100 per cent in this exam was not something I ever imagined would happen. It certainly wouldn’t have happened without the support I had from my managers at Aintree University Hospital and from the tutors at BPP. I attribute my exam success to the amazing experience I’ve had already on the Scheme and look forward to developing my management career in the NHS.

Karen Lynas, Interim Deputy Director and Head of Programmes at the NHS Leadership Academy, said: “I would like to congratulate Christine on this outstanding achievement. This is clear evidence that despite the current public sector job market the NHS is still able to attract world-class future leaders.

“The NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme is now part of the NHS Leadership Academy, and will continue play a key role in our vision to develop outstanding leadership in health, to improve patient health and their experiences of the NHS.  We will continue to offer trainees high quality work placements, education and support to ensure that the Scheme maintains its place as one of highest ranking graduate training programmes in the world.”

David Rowsby, Regional Director of Europe at CIMA, said:  “I would like to extend my congratulations to Christine. To obtain the highest possible mark on the CIMA P2 paper is an outstanding achievement.

“A CIMA qualification is renowned as being both thoroughly difficult to complete and prestigious to obtain. This makes Christine’s achievement even more substantial and confirms the calibre of CIMA graduates. I am sure she will have a glittering career in the NHS ahead of her.”

For more information about the NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme visit www.nhsgraduates.co.uk.